Matt Bush, FISM News
A political action committee (PAC) to get former Fox News host Tucker Carlson to run for president has ceased its activities after being sent a legal threat from Carlson’s attorney Harmeet Dhillon.
“Mr. Carlson will not run for President in 2024 under any circumstances, and therefore your misrepresentations are damaging to Mr. Carlson and defrauding his supporters,” Dhillon wrote in the letter, obtained by The Hill. “If you do not immediately cease and desist your efforts to solicit money to ‘draft’ Mr. Carlson, we will use every legal means at our disposal to vindicate his rights and protect his supporters from these misrepresentations.”
It’s that season — SCAM PAC season!
Everyone who donates to this frivolous and transparently self-serving attempt by total strangers to collect money and donor data using Tucker’s name and likeness, is getting ripped off and will probably get their name on a list for endless… https://t.co/kbOKjf0aHM
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) May 22, 2023
Chris Ekstrom, the PAC’s founder and one of its primary donors, told The Hill that only $212 had been raised online and that Ekstrom contributed $35,000 of his own money. It was that money that funded the PAC’s first ad that was set to be aired for one week on NewsMax.
Just days after the initial ad was released, however, Dhillon sent the cease-and-desist letter to Ekstrom and the “Draft Tucker PAC” warning legal action if the PAC did not stop pushing Carlson to run.
“Tucker’s attorney has contacted us to let us know that Tucker is not a candidate for president nor has any intentions of running and asked us to cease all activities on his behalf. We are going to honor that request,” spokesman and GOP consultant Charlie Kolean said in a statement.
Carlson has made it clear that he does not want to run for president. As far back as July 2022 he told Semafor co-founder Ben Smith in a virtual interview for the startup’s launch, “I don’t want power,” and “I have zero ambition, not just politically but in life.”
“I don’t think that way; I don’t want power, I’ve never wanted power. I’m annoyed by things and I want them to change,” he continued. “But I’ve never been motivated by the desire to control people.”
Even that interview, however, did not stop Newsweek from speculating about what it would look like for Carlson to run for president after he was released from Fox.
“It’s hard to dismiss speculation that Tucker Carlson would be a viable presidential candidate. Whether he could topple Trump in the primaries, or win a general election, is a different question,” said Thomas Gift, who heads up the Centre on U.S. Politics at University College London.
But he certainly has all three things that candidates need: name recognition, a devoted following, and finger on the pulse of where his party is at the moment. Add to that the fact that many rank-and-file Republicans see Carlson as a martyr right now, and he’d be firing on all cylinders heading into a GOP primary season where being a pariah is a net bonus.
It was similar thinking that pushed Ekstrom to start the PAC trying to convince Carlson to run.
Through it all, however, Carlson has remained clear that he is not interested in entering the race and for now it seems certain that his clarity goes past the 2024 election.
After years with Fox News and with his popularity as high as it has ever been, many conservatives had hoped he would enter the race, but Carlson remains content to shape the conversation from his role as anchor and commentator.
In the end, no litigation was needed and Dhillon ended the controversy by stating that “Mr. Carlson looks forward to sharing his new projects with the public in the near future.”